I first started gaming in the early 80s with the red '83 Mentzer Basic Rules boxed set. I don't remember if I was in kindergarten or first grade, but I was so young that I certainly had no clue what I was doing. Usually, a game session consisted of myself sitting in front of my character sheet with my mother pointing to a die saying, "roll that one." After a time, I caught on, and started playing my own character, instead of having my mom do it for me. That first character, a halfling named Roger Littleguy, still exists somewhere in an old house ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Time passed. I grew up. I kept gaming. I've played every edition of D&D ever published as well as dozens of other non-D&D and non-fantasy RPGs, but I keep coming back to my roots--that old rex box.
The box doesn't exist anymore, and the Player's Manual doesn't have a back cover or the page in the middle with the graph paper printed on it, but everything else is still there. I have just about everything ever produced for classic D&D, the Known World, and Mystara in one form or another. I am missing a few odds and ends, but I'll get those soon enough.
Now, here I am, twenty-seven years old, married with children, an ordained minister, enlisted into the US Air Force, and still, the one thing that remains constant throughout my life is a complete and utter addiction to Mystara and the D&D game. For me, it is a drug. While others get high or drunk, or go out hunting, or some other nonsense whenever they need a break, or just to wind down from that greatest of adventures we call real-life... I break out the dice. That is who I am. Gaming is my sanctuary, my solace.
No, I am not some whacked-out nut-job that cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. I have a job (I'm an enlisted service-member, remember?) and I do remember to eat, bathe regularly, brush my teeth, and even take my wife out to eat every now and then. I have friends outside of my gaming group, as well as other interests and hobbies. I'm quite politically active (a registered Libertarian) and religious (you can call me "Rev"). But once a week, if everything goes well, I don't have to worry about bills, or in-laws, or landladies, or supervisors, or Iraq, or anything except figuring out how many hit points can Bargle lose before he has to escape and foil the party's plan to capture him for the 1,000 gp bounty.
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